The Area Of Interest, Livestock, Grazing, And Urban And Home Development

1025 WordsNov 29, 20155 Pages
Introduction The area of interest is located in the San Joaquin Valley, California, primarily in the western part of Fresno County, California. The primary land uses in the region are irrigated cropland, livestock, grazing, and urban and home development (USDA 2015). Other land uses include recreation and wildlife habitats. The land survey of the region consists of series of straight lines delineating fields of crops, typically running north to south. A series of squares dominates the aerial view of the region. The region experiences hot and dry summers with an average July high of 92°F and has historically experienced cool and rainy winters with an average January low of 38°F which normally lasts between November and April. However,…show more content…
The rest of the area contains natural areas (trees & shrubs) with 15.9% (1,928.1 acres) and water with 0.6% (73.7 acres). In 2014, the gross value of Fresno County agriculture production exceeded seven billion dollars. Almonds was the number one crop at a value of $1.3 billion and grapes was a close second at $905 million (County of Fresno, Department of Agriculture 2015). Other important crops include poultry ($654 million), milk ($636 million), tomatoes ($524 million), pistachios ($378 million), garlic ($202 million), and cotton ($135 million). The diversity, high total acreage and crop yield are the result of favorable factors; the Mediterranean climate, long growing seasons, productive soils, and readily available and plentiful irrigation. Agricultural operations in the area have significant and permanent impact on the properties and management of the soils in the study area. Farming practices such as land leveling and irrigation impacts surface soils and deeper soil profiles due to the percolation of irrigation water. The current drought afflicting the region has increased the number of fallow acres steadily because of the relative unreliability of the water supply. The lack of surface water availability has forced farmers to turn more to groundwater to irrigate their crops. The pumping of water from deep wells and increased consumption of ground water contributes to ground subsidence which in turn, affects the geomorphology of the
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